Transportation Bond approved by public, tax hikes as early as July

Published: Nov. 4, 2014 at 6:40 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2014 at 4:57 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Voters approved a $44 million bond to support transportation improvements throughout the City of Wilmington Tuesday.

At a meeting in July, the Wilmington City Council approved adding the $44 million transportation bond on the November ballot. The bond allows for $55 million in transportation improvements within the city.

The remaining $11 million would come from existing funds. Traffic has consistently been a primary concern for residents, according to years of citizen surveys.

"We are very pleased that Wilmington voters chose to approve the 2014 Transportation Bond," said Mayor Bill Saffo. "We are grateful to all the citizens who took the time to vote and have a say in their local government."

The long list of needs that would be addressed by this bond includes $35 million for road projects and $20 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

One of those projects is another entrance for the Love Grove community.

Ron Sparks has been gaining support for the bond and says he is excited for this improvement that is 50 years in the making.

"Well the people of Love Grove are really excited, and they want to thank the citizens of Wilmington for voting to pass the overall bond," Sparks explained. "In that bond was the second access for Love Grove and because of this vote, in the next year or so they will have a new access out of Love Grove, and so if there's ever a train derailment here again, they'll have another way out."

According to the city's website, the $55 million in projects would equate to a 2-cent property tax increase for residents. The website states that the impact to the average homeowner of a $200,000 home is equal to about $3.34 per month or about $40 per year. The tax increase could begin as early as July 2015.

Wilmington staff members will begin immediately to gather more information that will help prioritize projects and determine what projects can get underway as quickly as possible.

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